Wednesday, 3 June 2015

When your health scares the life out of your children

2015 hasn’t been entirely kind to the Newbold household.  Since a hospital admission during the first week of January, I’ve really not been at all well.

I’ve had undiagnosed digestion issues for 18 months or so now, and they heightened this year, culminating in a couple of hospital admissions, several visits to accident and emergency as well as a multitude of GP visits and investigations.

It’s been a worrying time, a time of pain varying from mild to hospitalising, of massive unpredicted weight loss and of bouts of jaundice and fatigue.

I've looked better

Then there’s the strongest painkillers, sedatives, nights in hospital, nausea, sickness, fainting, dizziness, blood tests, urine samples, enemas, x-rays, scans, MRI tubes, invasive investigations and endoscopic repairs.

I’ve that much experience and knowledge of the Upper GI now I expect my honorary doctorate to arrive at any time.

Taking one for the team

How many times have your heard or said that you would much rather be ill than see your children suffer?  I’ve lost count, but it’s imagining seeing things from my son’s perspective that has perhaps been the hardest part of all of this.

I’m sure it hard and unsettling for any child to see one of their parents ill, but when you’ve already lost one I’m sure that does little to help your anxiety.

My wife and immediate family have been exceptional over these last few months, I couldn’t feel more loved and grateful, they’ve dealt with Max superbly and exactly as I would have wanted.

We are both blessed and very lucky.

But it has destroyed our routine, the only one he’s really known for ten years.

I’m here every morning and every evening, and can probably accurately estimate the number of times that’s not been the case to be under 20 in the last decade.

He used to having me around.

And as annoying as I am, it must be at least at little disconcerting to not see me.

Saving the NHS

It’s driven me mad in hospital, especially when inefficiencies have led to delays, leading to unnecessary stays in hospital.  My last 8-night hospital stay should have been done in 3 for example.

You can imagine my mood and approach.

However I have discovered it’s a great way for the NHS to save money, leave me on ward for any length of time and everyone else will soon be discharging themselves.

The family I simply wouldn't trade

Max has been reassured as much as possible, and a relatively simple operation in two weeks time, should see me make a return to health (and eating normally) soon afterwards.

He’s pretty resilient my mini-colossus, and he’s just got on with it, not causing any problems, understanding that he really does have to do things at the first time of asking at the moment.

There have been no problems at school, he’s sleeping okay, and he’s not always checking how I am.  There are no obvious signs of negative impact, and he articulates his feelings pretty well.  Those he isn't keeping to himself of course.

However I still think it’s difficult to know the full affect any of this is having on him, and as it isn’t even over yet, I’m not sure we’ll perhaps know that for a very long time.

I remain so very proud of him, and my family.

Life remains as normal as it can for the next few weeks, though I’m still unable to work properly, and only previous financial prudence plus my wonderful wife are keeping us all off the streets for now.

But that's another story.

I hope the remainder of 2015 is kinder to us than it’s been so far.

Keep your fingers crossed for us.